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Full text of "A history of Persia"

THE PERSO-AFGHAN QUESTION     451
suggested that Mirza Hashim might be sent to Shiraz as
British Agent; but when this appointment was actually
made he declared that, inasmuch as the man had never
obtained a formal discharge from the service of the Persian
Government, he was ineligible to hold any post under
the British, and that his acceptance of the Agency would
not be permitted. This objection was frivolous, for it is
well known that in Persia formal discharges are unheard
of, and the Sadr-i-Aazam added insult by arresting and
detaining Mirza Hashim's wife. Mr. Murray, the newly-
arrived Minister, agreed in the interests of peace that, if
the Mirza were granted a slightly better paid post by the
Persian Government, and if his safety were guaranteed
and his wife restored to him, he would be discharged
from the British service. Not only was this most reason-
able proposal refused, but the unscrupulous Minister stated
openly that the British representative had retained the
Mirza simply on account of his wife. An offensive letter
followed, in which a threat was made that, if the British
flag were struck, there would be certain unpleasant revela-
tions. The Minister finally broke off relations, and at
the end of 1855 quitted Teheran. Weeks, and then
months, passed without any communication from England.
The Sadr-i-Aazam consequently began to think that he
had triumphed over Mr. Murray, and in his somewhat
premature exultation he resolved to gratify the national
wish to obtain possession of Herat.
The Anglo-Afghan Alliance^ 1855.—The threatening
attitude of Persia towards Afghanistan caused Dost
Mohamed to embrace cordially the idea of an alliance
with Great Britain. Early in 1855 Sir John Lawrence
concluded a treaty of perpetual peace and friendship1
with the representative of our erstwhile enemy, thereby
ending the twelve years of hostility and suspicion which
the First Afghan War had bequeathed as a legacy.
The Change of Rulers at Herat, 1855.—Almost simul-
taneously with the conclusion of this treaty, the situation
in the Herat province underwent a radical change. Said
Mohamed, who was totally unfitted to rule, was deposed
1 The text is given in Rawlinson's work, App. II.